The Stalin Digital Archive – new digital source collection on the history of the Soviet Union accessible now

The digital source collection has been licensed for Germany-wide use within the framework of the Specialised Information Service for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies with the support of the German Research Foundation. Access to "The Stalin Digital Archive" and the digital copies it contains of the fund 558 from the Russian State Archive for Socio-Political History (RGASPI), will make the research of Stalin and of the Soviet Union significantly easier for researchers in Germany in the future.

© Joseph Stalin (1879 – 1953), Soviet leader, c1945. Head and shoulders portrait of Stalin in military uniform. [Photography]. Retrieved from Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest.

The source collection contains archive materials on Stalin's biography, his activities in the government and his role in foreign politics. The 28,000 documents amounting to around 404,000 pages contain:

  • Documents written by Stalin from the years 1889 to 1952
  • Over 390 books from Stalin's private library with his annotations and comments
  • Biographic material, such as school reports and police reports
  • Stalin's correspondence
  • The 26-volume series "Annals of Communism" with topical source editions, such as "Katyn" or "Soviet Culture and Power"

Researchers can retrieve these sources comfortably on their computers now, saving the trip to Moscow that was required for consulting them so far. The virtual research environment integrated in the service additionally enables researchers to process and evaluate the materials individually.

The database is freely accessible in the network of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (by registered users of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek). Access to the database:

From outside of the BSB's network, the database can be accessed Germany-wide via the system of national licenses after corresponding registration. For corresponding information please consult:

Further information about the service is available in the blog "OstBib":